RadioInfo Adds Part-Three to Six-Part Series on the State of CHR. Today – Five Industry Leaders Explore CHR’s Hottest Issues. Over the next several days, in a special series that kicked off Monday (11/12), RadioInfo spotlights top 40/CHR’s past, present, and future through the collective eyes and minds of a variety of front-line industry experts. This ambitious set of articles written by Mike Kinosian includes the observations of programmers and talent from the colorful segments of the spectrum including mainstream CHR, rhythmic CHR and neighboring hot AC. CHR is one of the most vibrant, omnipresent formats in radio history and it is going through one of its cyclical hot phases as the music world keeps churning out a veritable galaxy of stars and the PPM kindly reflects fascinating new listener demo patterns such as the “mother/daughter connection.” RadioInfo speaks with a panel of the genre’s leading practitioners including Tommy Austin, Alan Burns, Tony Gray, Brian Kelly, John Landecker, Joe Puglise, Rob Roberts, Scott Shannon, Jimmy Steal, Kris Erik Stevens, Greg Strassell, Terri Thomas, Kevin Weatherly, Guy Zapoleon and more who share their experiences, opinions and insights to create a picture of what makes the dynamic world of CHR tick in 2012. The RadioInfo special concludes this coming Monday (11/19) with a comprehensive mainstream CHR and rhythmic CHR ratings overview. Today’s installment presents a trio of expert, frontline programmers and two esteemed consultants dealing frankly with issues and concerns of today’s contemporary hit radio — Rob Roberts, OM, Cumulus/Atlanta; Brian Kelly, PD Entercom’s WXSS (“103.7 Kiss-FM”), Milwaukee; Tommy Austin, OM, KSLZ (“Z107-7″), St. Louis; and consultants Alan Burns and Tony Gray. Among the topics covered and findings revealed are the pressures facing today’s CHR programmers in keeping up with the rapid changes in social media and implementing them effectively in nurturing and building the station’s brand across a multi-platform universe. Another dizzying aspect of operating a CHR station in 2012 is maintaining a grip on the constant turnover in artists and songs moving in and out of the cultural spotlight. The important role of talent is explored as well as the non-stop challenge of creating effective contests and promotions with the bar constantly being raised by competition within and outside of the radio industry. For example, typical past top 40 promotions would be to give away the latest CD of a group or artist all weekend. Then on Monday morning, a grand prize winner would receive tickets to that particular group or artist’s concert. “Once upon a time, that was massive,” Rob Roberts concurs. “Today though, that would not even make the first screener of a promotion. The bar has been raised from what we expect from ourselves and what our listeners expect from us.” One culprit is vastly formidable and, in relative terms, somewhat of a newcomer. “State lotteries are the great killer of radio promotions,” Roberts insists. “It is hard to impress people when ‘Powerball’ is giving away $150 million. When we are on the air giving away a specific dollar amount or some other kind of prize, it requires programmers to reach down deep. Our friends in Orlando are competing against alligator wrestling. It is hard to get people to pay attention to that, or whatever else is happening. As everyone tries harder and harder to get your attention, you have to deliver that narrow focus. Anyone can play Maroon 5 – you need to have your listeners say they love your station because they do ‘this.’ The ability to discover ‘this’ separates the men from the boys, the girls from the women, and the scientists from the geniuses.” Read the entire RadioInfo CHR special here.
La Promesa Foundation Buys Urban Talk and Music Hybrid KCOH, Houston. The price tag is $2,141,000 which includes $1,500,000 at closing, a promissory note of $641,000 and the seller will donate an asset with a fair market value of $625,000. Seller is the estate of Michael Petrizzo. La Promesa Foundation is headed by president Leonard J. Oswald. John W. Saunders represented the seller and was the exclusive broker. KCOH was established in 1953 and bills itself as the “oldest black radio station in Texas.” It currently airs a mix of gospel and talk programming. La Promesa Foundation is a not-for-profit based in Midland, Texas and operates the Catholic Guadalupe Radio Network. Given KCOH’s history in the market as an urban outlet, there is likely to be some backlash from the African American community as the news of a format flip hits consumers.
Clear Channel’s KHLX, Sacramento Goes All-Christmas. Classic hits KHLX, Sacramento “Classic 93.1 FM” announces it becomes Sacramento’s holiday music station as of today (11/14). Operations manager Steve Weed states, “We’ve received a number of requests via phone, email and on Classic 93.1’s Facebook page for Christmas music. Listeners are definitely ready for the warm feelings and happy memories that Christmas music imparts.” Classic 93.1’s website will also feature exclusive holiday content, where listeners will be able to get their Christmas wishes granted, download delicious holiday recipes and find shopping tips to help track down the hottest items of the season.
Toledo Jock Diagnosed with Cancer. RadioInfo sends its best to Cumulus Media AC WRVF, Toledo morning drive co-host Mary Beth Zolik who was recently diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Zolik tells the Toledo Blade she is symptom-free right now but that her doctor says that would have changed over the course of the next year. Zolik will begin chemotherapy tomorrow and will do so every three weeks through April. Whether she takes time away from the radio station will depend on how she responds to the chemo.
RadioInfo Career Moves. Adult contemporary WLYF, Miami “1015. Lite FM” program director Rob Sidney signs a contract extension to remain with the Lincoln Financial Media station. Sidney has been with the LFM station for more than 22 years, joining it as morning host and music director in 1990…..James Harness (aka “Skortch”)is named imaging director for Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s CHR KIIS and alternative KYSR, Los Angeles. He joins Forrest Martin in the imaging department at CC’s LA cluster.
Consumer Electronics Show Preview – The Radio Connection. Each year, radio consultant Holland Cooke covers the huge Consumer Electronics Show held in Las Vegas in January for RadioInfo. But November always brings the preview of the show and Holland was there as well. He says radio should pay attention for several reasons. The most obvious reason is to get a line on what’s going to be hot for Christmas so AEs can target the appropriate retailers. Holland says the Consumer Electronics Association forecasters predict tablets will dominate this holiday season. The CEA is saying sales of tablets will be up 112% over last year. TVs are going to be big with 20% of American adults saying they plan to buy a television this holiday season. Read more from Holland Cooke here.
Cool Job Opportunity. Contemporary Christian non-commercial KTIS (98.5), Minneapolis is looking for a “Director of Listener & Community Engagement” (aka promotions director). If you are passionate about promotions and love being on the air, send you air check and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Top High School Radio Station Honored. The 2012 John Drury High School Radio Awards were held last weekend at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois and Lyons Township High School’s WLTL “Radio 88.1 FM” was named the Best High School Radio Station. The LaGrange, Illinois school won the honor for the fifth time, having won it in 2002, 2004, 2008 and 2009. The school has produced several students who’ve gone on to successful careers in media including: Tyler Moody, VP/programming for CNN Radio; Dave Juday, SportsCenter Anchor for ESPN Radio Chicago; Allan Loudell, news anchor/host at WDEL, Wilmington; and Phil LeBeau, reporter for CNBC News.